Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) is facing a budget deficit of Rs 1000 million and there is a dire need to reduce it, said Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) Mir Israr Ullah Khan Zehri on Tuesday. He said this while speaking at the 34th Board of Governors (BoG) meeting of PARC. The meeting was presided over by Mir Israr Ullah Khan Zehri, and attended by its members from public as well as private sectors.
"The BoG of PARC has approved Rs 2753.212 million budget for the current financial year (2012-2013) aimed at meeting its development and non-development expenditure", a senior official of PARC said. He said that of Rs 2753.212 million, PARC would generate Rs 60 million through its own resources, Rs 1817 million would be provided by the government while remaining Rs 876.212 million would be provided as supplementary grant.
"The BOG meeting also okayed 20% increase in conveyance allowance, 20% increase in pension besides approving enhancement of leave encasement from 180 days to 365 days", he said. The official said that the total budget of PARC for year 2011-2012 was Rs 1605 million. Later, the budget was revised to Rs 1629.831 million and the total expenditure during the 2011-2012 was Rs 1628.996 million, he said.
The Minister said that agriculture scientists need to devise an effective plan to cope with future food requirements keeping in view the increasing population. The present government is taking various measures for the betterment of the agriculture sector in the country as well as for small farmers, he said. He said that the government has spent more than Rs 500 billion for the development of agriculture sector. The output of the agriculture could be increased with the introduction of laser technology, which would help reduce use of water for irrigation, he said.
The Minister said that more sophisticated equipments would be provided to the research center and institute of PARC located in different provinces. The NFS&R will establish four new research centers in Balochistan under Aghaz-e-Huqooq Balochistan for betterment of the agriculture sector, he said. He urged high ups of PARC to establish strong relations with the international research organisation as well as local research organisation. Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC briefed the BoG about PARC's performance and informed them that structural changes were being carried out in the council to enhance its performance and produce result-oriented research work.